King Solomon’s Gold from Ophir

Published November 4, 2018, 12:02 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



Part I

Nelly Favis Villafuerte
Nelly Favis Villafuerte

            Many of us have heard of stories about the legendary wealth of King Solomon, the son of King David, who became the third King of Israel.  Of course, we also remember stories about King David who killed the giant Goliath when he was just a shepherd boy.  To bible believing Christians, King David and King Solomon are not mythical figures.  They are mentioned in the Bible.  They were real kings who lived, ruled, and died in the land of Israel.

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            We have an idea of the wealth of King Solomon.  We also know who gave King Solomon his fabulous and legendary wealth.

            In a dream one night, King Solomon was asked by God what He shall give the newly-installed King upon the death of his father King David.  Here is the young King Solomon’s reply to the Lord:

            “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (1 Kings 3:9, King James Version)

            Our Lord God gave the young King Solomon his request for an understanding heart to judge the people – and much more. 

“And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;” (1 Kings 3:11, KJV)

“Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” (1 Kings 3:12, KJV)

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” (1 Kings 3:13, KJV)

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.” (1 Kings 3:14, KJV)

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            It is the wealth of King Solomon – particularly gold that this article is all about.  From one internet report (, we get the following: “By today’s standards, Solomon was reputed to have a personal fortune in excess of $60 trillion. Much of this came in the form of pure gold. By the end of his sovereignty, estimations indicated that he owned 500 tons of gold. Modern gold usually comes in the form of bullion. But King Solomon used a portion of his gold to fashion items such as shields, cups, and plates. x x x”

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            King Solomon built a house of the Lord bedecked in gold.  In 1 Kings 6:21-22 (King James Version), we see the following: “So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.  And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.”

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            One wonders where King Solomon got all his riches of fabled gold.  Did he buy the gold?  Did he own gold mines? Did other countries give all his riches of gold as gifts or as tribute or payment as taxes?  Did the bulk of the gold that King Solomon had come from Israel, King Solomon’s own country?

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            In various books of the Old Testament, there is mention of a place called Ophir which supplied gold to Solomon.  Let me cite some of the Biblical verses that mention about the land of Ophir:

            “And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, the servants of Solomon.” (1 Kings 9:27, KJV)

            “And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.” (1 Kings 9:28, KJV)

            “And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.” (1 Kings 10:11, KJV)

            “Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.” (1 Kings 22:48, KJV)

            “Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal.” (1 Chronicles 29:4, KJV)

            “And Hiram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.” (2 Chronicles 8:18, KJV)

            “And the servants also of Hiram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.” (2 Chronicles 9:10, KJV)

            “Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.” (Job 22:24, KJV)

            “It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.” (Job 28:16, KJV)

            To be continued

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This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 LRV Building, Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.

Be joyful and forgiving!  (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: [email protected])